At Mabon the Great Horned God feels his power slipping away and prepares to abandon his physical body and begin his annual journey into the underworld. The Goddess is celebrating the bounty of the fertility of her world and observing the harvest. Soon she will mourn him, until Yule when he is reborn.
Mabon, the autumn equinox, marks the end of the long days of summer and the changes of fall. With startling speed the days will grow shorter until the winter solstice in three months. The full moon on the 15th was the second of the three harvest moons, by the third one the harvest will be over and in some areas the first signs of winter will already have arrived.
This is a great time of year to really get connected with the natural world. The weather is still mild and the changes around us are radical. Birds are beginning to gather in large flocks, preparing for their migration south. Trees and other foliage are turning colors right before our eyes. The nights are longer and cooler, making the days also cooler. Clouds gather quickly, threaten rain, separate and roar away. Animals are growing winter coats, sometimes a different color than their summer wear. Squirrels and other small animals that store food for the winter are nearly frantic with their latest prizes, seeking more and new hiding places. The farmer’s markets are bulging out from under their tent canopies. In this area we have lots of squash, apples, peaches and chilies.
Get outside, take a walk, smell fall in the air. Winter is coming and even though it is not the hardship it was for our ancestors, it is still a time of being controlled by the weather and turning inward.
I found a great and simple ritual for celebrating the autumn in Arin Murphy-Hiscock's wonderful book,
The Way of the Green Witch.
Autumn Equinox Harvest Ritual
This ritual honors the earth's produce and bounty and allows you to participate in the season's energy by performing the essential harvesting action. You can harvest something from your own garden or something wild. If you have a lot to harvest, chose the first or the last item you plan to harvest for this ritual. The harvesting tool will depend on what you are harvesting.
sharp knife, secateurs, scissors or shears
small bottle or bowl of water
Standing next to what you are harvesting, reach out with your hand and sense that plant's energy. Say:
I honor you, Earth's Child.
I honor your growth, your flower and now your fruit.
I thank you for your energy.
Blessed Be, Earth's Child.
May I who harvest your fruit be blessed by the act.
With the harvesting tool cut the fruit off of the plant. Sense the energy of the plant when you have harvested its produce. Honor the difference you feel.
Pour the water at the base of the plant in thanks.